It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Taylor Swift fan. And I say that without an ounce of embarrassment or shame. I admire the girl–really. She’s a brilliant songwriter. She’s trendy. And she’s fun. If I were in my 20’s and famous, I’d totally be BFF’s with Tay Tay.
But that’s not really what I’m here to talk about. I actually just wanted to mention one of her pre-pop era songs: “Begin Again”. It’s one of my favorites.
“Begin Again” is all about new beginnings and moving on after heartbreak and past relationships. The lyrics tell of a place many of us have been at least once in our life. But I was thinking of this song today since this week marks a very special occasion for me: I started querying my fourth book, otherwise known as THE BUG COLLECTOR’S BUCKET LIST.
It’s always a little scary, putting yourself out there after failure (which I prefer to call life lessons). Moving on from previous books which you may still love dearly isn’t always easy. But it’s a vital part of the process. We have to let go of the old in order to begin with the new.
Or maybe your problem is more that you consider yourself a failure after not getting your first (or second or seventh) book published. But I assure you: you aren’t. The only real failure in life comes from giving up on your dreams.
The good thing about beginning again is that your past experiences have made you smarter. This time around, I can honestly say I’m much more prepared. In the past, I thought I was ready and my manuscript was polished, but this time, I know it is. So even though it’s nerve-wrecking, I’m still very excited to be putting my new baby out into the world.
On Monday, I hit send on ten queries. On Tuesday morning, I sat down at my computer to find what ever writer loves to see–a full request! To make matters even more exciting, it was from an agent who’s a Pretty Big Deal. Screaming and dancing may or may not have ensued.
Of course, I know how this whole querying game works by now. A full request can easily end in a rejection, and it often does. I’m not banking on anything yet. . . but I am taking it as a good sign that my first batch of queries resulted in immediate interest. So now, I’m at the infamous wait and see part (which makes up 95% of the publication process, as every writer will learn.)
I won’t send out another batch of queries until at least next month, but in the mean time, I’ll be getting back to work on ROMEO AND THE SCARLETT LETTER, which I’m equally excited about. There’s always another book to focus on, so I recommend diving into another project as soon as possible so you don’t get stuck in The Waiting Place.
Beginning again is scary. But it can also be thrilling and fun and full of infinite possibility. I hope that no matter where everyone is in the process, they will give themself the opportunity to experience it. In other words, keep pushing on.
It’s the only way to get to your destination.